Something's brewing in Corner Brook: A new craft beer company
Bootleg Brew Co. started with two friends and a stovetop batch of spruce tip beer
A couple of cooks in Corner Brook are taking a break from the kitchen to turn their quirky homebrews into a new craft beer business.
Bootleg Brew Co. was started by Matt Tilley and Morgan Turner, who began experimenting with beer making about nine months ago after they started working together at a local sushi restaurant.
"The first one we made, we actually did a spruce tip beer, we foraged for spruce tips last spring and it was really hard but we managed to make it work in a pot on the stove with a bunch of thermometers," said Turner.
"[We] didn't really know what we were doing at first, but it turned out really good and all of our friends tried it and said, 'Man, you should open a microbrewery.'"
Both Tilley and Turner noticed the boom in craft beer popularity while working in restaurants in other provinces, and they both felt the time was right to join the growing industry here at home.
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"Everyone is looking at local now, everyone wants to know where their food comes from and where their drinks come from. People like to know what's behind everything," Tilley told CBC Radio's Corner Brook Morning Show.
While they have been working on almost 20 different recipes, the pair has narrowed it down to three favourites which they plan to offer year-round — an IPA, an amber rye ale and a pale ale — with seasonal offerings to "show off the best of what Newfoundland has to offer."
"Depending what we can get … we might do a partridgeberry saision, or a blueberry ale or a spruce tip beer like we did last year," said Turner.
"The hardest part is going to be finding enough, because we've been doing five-gallon batches, and to do a single batch for us right now is hard," added Tilley.
"And when we scale up it's going to be 20 times that size, so just getting the amount at the certain time when everything is ripe, it's going to be fun."
Tilley expects most of Bootleg Brew Co.'s business will come from restaurants and bars, but he said they're in talks for a location in Corner Brook where they hope to have their own pub or tasting room.
Tilley and Turner have started a crowdfunding campaign to help with the set up, and if all goes according to plan, the pints will start flowing this summer.
With files from the Corner Brook Morning Show